ENLIGHTENED SELF INTEREST
This month we are embarking on a grand experiment to PROVE that we have the ability to LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH abundantly by becoming a GIVER to life. This concept is summed up by words of Ed Rabel: "Another meaning of asking in the name of Jesus Christ would be to align yourself with the givingness part of God's nature. Remember that God is givingness itself or let us say that givingness itself is one of the divine ideas in God-Mind. It is a beautiful idea, givingness."a
You are I are part of this joy and we find fulfillment only as this joy passes through us to others. We short-circuit our own good when we refuse to pass it on. We are learning this month how NOT to short circuit our own good!
Motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins once said: "Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest Joy: true fulfillment."b
And from 19th century Indian poet and philosopher Tagore: "I dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and life was service. I acted . . . and behold service was joy!"c
This is one of my favorite quotes, let me repeat it: "I dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and life was service. I acted . . . and behold service was joy!"
Why is this true? It goes back to the levels of spiritual development. Of course, God is the ultimate giver -- totally, completely, unconditionally, unreservedly giving of Itself to Its creation, that would be us!
Therefore, when we are serving/giving, we are living from the "Through Me/Mystic" or "As Me/Master" stage of consciousness. When we give, when we serve, we are allowing God to express through and as us. When we are giving/serving, we are living from our true nature. And, of course, living from our true nature fills us with joy!
We are exploring 5 Laws for Stratospheric Success from this little book entitled The Go-Giver. This book is really a book about success in business written in parable form. But the laws in it go beyond business lines.
In fact, a genuinely sound business principle will apply anywhere in your life - in your friendships, in your marriage, anywhere. That's the true bottom line. Not whether it simply improves your financial balance sheet - but whether it improves your life's balance sheet.
Last week we explored the first two laws and you, like the protagonist in the book, were given an assignment - go out and apply the laws. Don't just hear about them from me or read about them in the book or think about them, but DO them/activate them in your life.
First Law: The Law of Value: "Your true ability to create an abundant life is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment."d
How did you do with that? Who did something?? What did you do? Here's what did: I permitted a renter at the church extra time to pay the rent without a late charge.
Second Law: The Law of Compensation: "Your abundance is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them."
What did you do? I have allowed one of our renters to pay a reduced amount of rent until they could get back on their feet.
According to Pindar, the mentor in our parable: "Changing your focus from seeing what you can get to what you can give [Laws 1 and 2] is when things START to take off. START. But in most endeavors, you also need to know how to develop a network. A network of people who know you, who like you and who trust you. They might never buy a thing from you, but they've always got you in the backs of their minds. They are people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed. And of course, that's because you're the same way about them."e
The Third and Fourth Laws of Stratospheric Success invite you into what the book refers to as "enlightened self-interest" by realizing that when you genuinely care about meeting the needs of others (that's Law 3) and show up authentically (that's Law 4), then your interests will be taken care of as well - always and in all ways!
Here's the 3rd law. It's called The Law of Influence: "Your influence [abundant life] is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first."
The third law of stratospheric success is: watch out for the other guy. Watch out for his interests. Watch his back. Make your win about the other person, go after what he wants. Forget win/win - focus on the other person's win. Quit keeping score!
Because if you place the other person's interests first, your interests will always be taken care of. Always. Watch out for what other people need with the faith that when you do, you'll get what you need as well.
This brief conversation in The Go-Giver, discussing the Third Law, is what made me think so much of the work of another book called Real Love.
Pindar: "I believe there is one reason, and only one reason, that my wife and I have stayed together for so long and are as happy together today as we were 48 years ago - more so, in fact. That reason is this: I care more about my wife's happiness than I do about my own. All I've ever wanted to do since the day I met her is to make her happy. And here's the truly remarkable thing -- she seems to want the same thing for me."
Joe: "Wouldn't some people call that codependence?"
Pindar: "Yes, some probably would. Know what I call it? Success!"
An awe-inspiring, true life example of this Third Law appeared in an article in the June issue of Sports Illustrated. The event reported in the June issue actually took place several years ago. It occurred during a women's college softball game. A young woman named Sara hit the ball, it soared out of the ballpark. Two base runners head home, Sara rounds first base, but then hears the first base coach yelling at her "Get back! Get back!"
Apparently, she didn't actually touch the base. But as she turns to run back, her cleats somehow stick in the ground, she twists, her knee doesn't, and she drops to the ground in excruciating pain. With the coach still yelling at her to get back to first base, she crawls back, grabs the base and holds it like a pillow, writhing in pain. But she cannot get up; she can't move; she looks up at the coach and says, "what do I do?"
The rules say, at least so the umpires thought at the time, that if a teammate helps her up, even touches her, the play will become null and void. No one can run the bases for her either.
As they are trying to figure out what to do, the first baseman, Mallory Holtman, takes matters in her own hands. She asks the umpire if she can help. A bit incredulous, the umpire says, "why would you?" - this is a player on the opposing team, remember, about to make a triple play! - but nothing in the rules says she can't, so the umpire gives his OK.
Mallory scans the fields, locks eyes with her shortstop, Liz; Liz gets the message, runs over, and she and Mallory carefully pick up Sara and walk her around the bases, making sure to dip her just a little so her left foot touches each base as they round it. Let me read a little from the article: "Mallory and Liz haul Sara toward second base, moving with awkward sideways steps. They must travel 180 feet. Don't trip, Mallory tells herself. "Thank you, guys" Sara says again. "You hit it over the fence," Mallory replies. "You deserve it." "This has to look hilarious to everybody who's watching," says Liz. "I wonder if they're laughing at us". The spectators do not laugh. Rather, they stand, feeling a certain euphoria, their applause a mild hailstorm. As the women turn toward home, Sara looks up to see her teammates standing at home place, clapping for her. Beyond her gratitude she feels a twinge of pride, because she has just hit the first home run of her career in what will prove to be her last time at bat."f
Doesn't that story just warm your heart? Let's put our theory here to the test - remember this is PROVE IT month! Our theory is that if you put the interest of the other first, then your interests will be taken care of as well.
So, how did this pan out for Mallory? Did her team win that game? Did they go on to win the NCAA championship? Was Mallory selected MVP and did she get picked up to play pro ball? Nope, none of those things happened! Well this stuff doesn't work!
I don't know, you tell me.
Money poured into the college after the game. The team got nearly $25,000 in donations, including at least one check from a soldier in Iraq. The university matched every dollar. The team got new uniforms for 2009, new protective screens for pitching practice and a luxury bus to take them to away games.
Mallory and Sara have formed a nonprofit organization called the Sportsmanship Defined Foundation, which provides scholarships and teaches kids the right way to play.
They have a publicist and a booking agent. Corporations pay them to deliver motivational speeches, including a recent appearance in Florida to educate 6000 mortgage brokers on character and responsibility.
And, among the thousands and thousands of letters Mallory received, here's one: "Dear Mallory, will you marry me? Just kidding; I'm 74, happily married, and a grandfather. But I am one of countless people across the country, and probably across the world, who truly love you for what you and Liz did for Sara. How could we not?"
Do you think Mallory's life was enriched? Oh, I'd say abundantly so because she applied the Law of Influence: "Your abundant life is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first."
The fourth law talks about adding value to whatever it is you are offering. Whether it's a mundane commodity that everyone else is selling or real estate, insurance or hot dogs, whatever it is, you can excel by adding value.
I love this line in the book: "If you need money, add value. If you need a lot of money; add a lot of value. And if you need a lot of money fast, find a way to add a lot of value fast."g
And the most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you are selling, what you're really offering is you!
The 4th Law is a simple one - it's called the Law of Authenticity and it goes like this: "The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself."h
There is an example in The Go Giver of a women who suddenly needed to make a living because of a divorce. She went into real estate and studied hard. She learned every closing technique there was - from A to Z, literally.
The Assumptive Close, the Bonus Close, the Concession Close, the Distraction Close, the Emotion Close, the Future Close, the Golden Bridge Close, the Humor Close, the IQ Close, the Jersey City Close, the Kill Clause Close, the Leveraged Asset Close, the Money's-not-Everything Close, the Now-or-Never Close, the Ownership Close, the Puppy Dog Close, the Quality Close, the Reversal Close, the Standing-Room-Only Close, the Takeaway Close, the Underpriced-Value Close, the Vanity Close, the Window-of-Opportunity Close, the Xaviera Hollander Close, the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Close, and the Zsa Zsa Gabor Close!
And yet, she sold not one property. Not until she was about to give up and thus gave up all the techniques and methods for making a sale and took one last appointment she couldn't weasel out of and they just talked. She was just real. She said it was the most unprofessional, sloppy, irresponsible, disgraceful sales presentation in the history of real estate. And the woman bought the house!
Your authentic, real self is worth 10,000 times more than all the closing techniques that ever have been or ever will be invented. And you are the value you can add to everything you have to offer!
Third Law: The Law of Influence: Your abundant life is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.
Fourth Law: The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
How will you live these laws this week? How will you put them into play in your lives? Realizing that when you do, you will be in great harmony with your Divine, your True Nature. You will be living the Through Me and even the AS Me stages of spiritual growth. And as you bless you are richly blessed. In the words of Gandhi: "The fragrance lingers on the hand of the one who gives the rose."i
dBob Burg & John David Mann The Go-Giver
eBob Burg & John David Mann The Go-Giver
fSports Illustrated (June 2009, p. 57, The Way It Should Be)
gBob Burg & John David Mann The Go-Giver
hBob Burg & John David Mann The Go-Giver